By J1 Reporter Ellen Everett
It’s Wednesday, time for the homeroom block. Students are anxiously waiting for the new MBeat to play on the projector. They watch the 5-minute video that shows the many activities during that school week, plus some fun interviews, entertainment pieces, and public service announcements. “I really look forward to watching the final shows. I enjoy seeing the personality and creativity of each team shine through,” junior Meredith Mueller said. In the productions, students can interview other students, teachers, and staff members to get their opinion on a topic or event they’re covering. The broadcasts also include pictures and video footage taken at events or activities.
The Journalism program is most widely known for the Network, Crusader Yearbook and MBeat. The Network is the school print and digital newspaper, the Yearbook is colorfully and carefully made to display all of the Marian girls and events throughout the school year, and the MBeat is a weekly video production showcasing all that was going on at Marian that week. Teams of Journalism I students pick a week to cover in the fall and spring. Wednesday is the special day when the final videos are shown in homeroom. Excitement rushes through the MBeat girls’ minds when it’s time to show their class. Junior Lauren Shotkoski said she felt nervous when it was time to show her team’s video. “I am grateful that my classmates gave me and my team constructive criticism to make it even better,” Shotkoski said.
Junior Ariana Ganson and her team recently went through the MBeat creation process. She was definitely excited, “but I was a little nervous!” she said. Ganson was also involved in the musical, “The Sound of Music,” the week she was working on her MBeat, so she admitted she was very stressed out. Ganson and her group were worried it would not get done on time. Students can use the week before their broadcast is due to work on it, but most students use footage from outside that period. Although they had some struggles along the way, “I felt like my group and I grew closer, and that’s what I loved most about the process,” Ganson said.
Junior Alida Farrens also showed her insight from when she made an MBeat. She was excited to make the broadcast with her friends. Many of the students who are not in Journalism think it is easy and does not require as much effort as it actually does. “It was a lot more work than I thought it would be,” Farrens said. iMovie is the editing software that Journalism students use, and that was the most interesting part of the process to her. Farrens and her two partners already knew how to work the software, so she said they had no problems with it.
Some students have prior knowledge of cameras and the editing software, but others are introduced to a whole new world. Learning to make all the parts come together on the deadline is a common challenge. Every team strives to make their video unique and unlike something that’s already been done. Viewers can clearly see the hardwork and dedication through the final broadcasts. Meredith Mueller and her team recently created an MBeat. “Seeing the clean final product of something we have been working on for a long time is so memorable. These productions are memories from high school we can go back and watch, thanks to YouTube.” Mueller said.
When State Journalism time rolls around, some students will have the opportunity to submit their broadcast for judging. The four categories are news, feature, sports, and PSA. The judges look at professionalism, length, clean audio, and quality of video work. Having this in mind, students pay attention to small details to hopefully be recognized or awarded at the state tournament.
Most teams will run into problems while working on their broadcast. Finding out one of your clips doesn’t have audio, someone accidentally deleted your footage, or your camera dying in the middle of filming are just some of the problems that a group could run into. All of these roadblocks can help your group form team work, communication, and life skills.
Visit the Marian MBeat YouTube Channel (MarianMBeat) to see the most recent shows.